Photo credit: VisitArizona
It’s not hard to fall in love with the Sonoran desert and the surrounding area, whether you visit for a day or have been an Arizona resident for years. In a place as beautiful as Scottsdale, it is easy to appreciate the beauty of the nature around you, and with Earth Day fast approaching, it’s an even better time to pay extra attention to it.
Living in a sensitive desert climate, you will find the community has a deeper appreciation for respecting and preserving the natural ecosystems in the area. In fact, it’s a commonly known rule while out in nature to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.
If you want to honor the beauty of Arizona and feel more connected to the land this Earth Day, keep reading for some fun and unique ways to celebrate this year.
Participate in an Earth Day Trash Clean-Up
Photo credit: High Country Conservation Center
If you feel inspired to take action on Earth Day, head to North 7th Street & East Deer Valley Drive at 5:30 pm on April 22nd, to participate in an official Earth Day Trash Clean Up in Phoenix with Keep Nature Wild.
They will be providing bags, gloves, and masks for volunteers as they clean up an illegal dumpsite in Phoenix. The event will be capped at 50 volunteers, and they will ask everyone who participates to wear a mask and outdoor clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty!
This is a great opportunity to spend time outside and do something tangible that will really make a difference for the wider Phoenix community.
Cruise Through the Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration-Drive Thru
Photo credit: Farmers Almanac
Another great way to celebrate the day? Spend some time at the Environmental Education Center in Chandler and participate in their Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, April 17th. This fun event is kid-friendly and will include various crafts and activities that showcase ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It takes place from 9 am -12 pm and will be a drive-thru event this year.
Visit The Butterfly Gardens
Photo credit: NBC News
Looking for a way to feel more connected with nature this month? It’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather in the Valley before it really starts to heat up! Visit Scottsdale’s butterfly gardens to connect with one of Earth’s most beautiful and delicate creatures.
There are three locations where you can see the butterfly gardens this year: Rotary Park, Scottsdale Ranch Park, and the Granite Reef Senior Center. At all of these centers there will be stations for you to learn more about the important role butterflies play in our ecosystem. You can expect to see many different types, including the stunning Monarch and Painted Lady varieties. This exhibit will be open every day through the end of April.
Participate in the Scottsdale Great Waste Audit
Photo credit: Center for EcoTechnology
Another great way you can get involved is by participating in Scottsdale’s Great Waste Audit this year! This is a project the city is hosting during the month of April to help residents become more mindful about the amount of waste our households typically generate in an average month.
In order to participate, you are asked to track your waste for the span of either a week or a month. After collecting your trash, lay down a garbage bag outside on the ground, and sort your trash into various categories such as recyclables, landfill, and compostable items. Download this worksheet that can help you sort everything easily.
Once you have mapped out the volume of your household waste, the second part of the exercise is identifying ways you can make lifestyle changes to cut down on your amount of trash. Whether that be using less plastic water bottles or ordering takeout less often, there are always little ways to cut back that will make a difference. When you have finished filling out your form, submit it to the city so you can contribute to the national research project!
Shop Fresh Produce at Old Town Farmers Market
Photo credit: HelloTravel
Every Saturday morning from 8 am to 1 pm you can visit the Old Town Farmers Market to shop from more than 100 local growers. This farmers market has been around for 11 years and is open seasonally from October-May every year.
Old Town Farmers Market offers a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables in addition to seasonal items like apples and free-range eggs. There are also several vendors that offer premade food and gifts as well!
This is a great spot to shop at when you are trying to support more local small businesses. You also can feel good knowing you are getting the freshest food out there!
Additionally, if you live in a different part of the Valley, check their website for more info on where you can find a farmers market near you. This is a great way to really connect with the Scottsdale community in a fun way.
Get Free Admission to a National Park
Photo credit: Peak Visor
On April 17th, you can get free admission to any of the US National Parks in honor of National Park Prescription Day! Typically all of the National Parks do have an entrance cost, so it’s a great day to go and enjoy nature. It’s proven spending time outdoors can boost your mood and immunity.
Arizona actually is home to over twenty National Park sites, including various national monuments and national recreational centers. The closest National Parks to the Phoenix area are the Grand Canyon National Park, Saguaro National Park, and the Petrified Forest National Park.
While they all require a decent drive out of town, it is always fun to take a weekend excursion to explore one of these majestic parks! Living in such a beautiful state, it’s important to make sure you are experiencing the natural beauty of the land.
Immerse Yourself In Nature
Photo credit: Arizona Outdoor Adventures
Make it a priority to move your body and get outside this month in honor of Earth Day! While it can be easy to fall into a pattern of watching Netflix and staying inside, fresh air is guaranteed to revitalize you. There are so many ways to do this, whether it’s hanging out in your backyard, going for a long bike ride, taking a quick jump in a pool, or walking a different way to explore your neighborhood.
Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride
Photo credit: Experience Scottsdale
One of the most adventurous and magical ways to appreciate the desert landscape is from a hot air balloon! There is nothing quite like watching the sunrise from the air.
Hot Air Expeditions offers an unparalleled experience as you gently leave the ground behind and get to experience a 360 degree view of the Sonoran desert. After your incredible hour long ride, the hot air balloon lands and you get to enjoy a champagne toast and brunch experience hosted by Vincent’s on Camelback.
Use Earth Day and this month as an opportunity to reconnect and show some extra appreciation to the beautiful place we call home. Whether you opt for an activity right in your own backyard or feel called to go on an outdoor adventure, there are so many fun ways to celebrate Earth Day in Scottsdale this year!